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America 33, Mr. Reid 19, Fema 18, Louisiana 15, Illinois 14, Indiana 12, Us 9, Washington 7, Nevada 5, West Virginia 5, Virginia 5, Mr. Mcconnell 3, New York 3, Johnny Isakson 3, United States Senate 3, Missouri 3, Mr. Durbin 2, Harry Reid 2, Mr. Leahy 2, Landrieu 2,
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  CSPAN    U.S. Senate    News/Business.  

    September 26, 2011
    5:00 - 8:00pm EDT  

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senator from new york who has been a very strong and clarion voice on this issue and has helped to really crystallize what this is about. and he's exactly right. and i want to read into the record, as the senator from illinois comes to speak, several articles, editorials around the country have editorialized exactly on the position that he ended. and it's the point of this whole debate. if we accept the cantor doctrine which requires an offset before you can send help to people that are stranded or flooded out or in an ice storm or in the middle of a tornado, we have to come to washington to cut the budget, the central pennsylvania newspaper said it well. they said it's easy to generalize and say our government spends too much money
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and needs to cut all government programs. then a tornado wipes out joplin, missouri, or a hurricane called irene slams into the east coast, destroying countless homes and lives in vermont or a flood devastates communities in dairy township, middletown and harrisburg, pennsylvania. it is then we count on our local, state and federal government for help and in particular the federal government. we have certainly seen this year through wind, fire and rain, and the ice could be next to come, that fema's financial efforts cannot be tied to some sort of congressional pay by disaster system. we cannot decide with each new catastrophe where we will find money, stripping funds from transportation this month and education the next. that is what this debate is about. we didn't choose this fight. it was started by representative eric cantor. there was a moment in time when he said we must offset this
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disaster, and some of us stood right up and said no, we will not. now, i see my senator from illinois, but i want to sit for the record. i have sent four letters as the chair of this committee as early as february, so please don't anyone in the press criticize me for waiting to the last minute. february 16, 2011, i sent a letter saying heads up, this is going to be a problem. now, not many people listened. so then i sent another letter in march. and then i sent another letter in may. then i sent another letter may 11. we're now -- what are we? september? so please don't -- you could accuse me of a lot of things, i most certainly make mistakes, but being ahead of this one isn't one of them. and i knew this was going to happen. so here we are because this was not started by harry reid, it
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was not started by leader durbin from illinois. it was started when eric cantor said despite the fact that we sent $1.3 trillion to iraq and afghanistan to build cities and communities and houses in iraq and afghanistan, we can't send any money to vermont or to new hampshire or to virginia, his own state, which is really mind-boggling to me until we find a program to cut, and then they go cut a program that has bipartisan support that's creating jobs in america. so, mr. president, i turn it over to the senator from illinois. he always has some interesting things to add to the debate, and i appreciate his support and his leadership. the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. mr. durbin: i ask consent to speak for ten minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: let me say to the senator from louisiana, you have been a clarion, consistent voice
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on this issue because you have seen it and lived it. anyone representing the state of louisiana can give a lesson to all of us about what happens when the unexpected occurs and people lose their homes, their businesses, their lives. they are uprooted. we had some folks from new orleans up in chicago. they were leaving new orleans to come up to one of our fabulous winters because they have nowhere to go. i saw the look in their eyes. they didn't know where to turn. at that moment in time, many people across america count on the american family. that's who we are, and we represent that family here in the united states senate. we stand up for this country and for the families that are suffering through no fault of their own, no fault of their own. and when the senator from louisiana comes and tells us be careful when you set a standard that says before you can send the first dollar to someone who has lost their home or their business or their farm or
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whatever, you've got to come back to washington and go through a budget debate and decide where you're going to cut out of money for education and medical research and the like. that isn't the way it has ever happened. emergency spending is emergency spending. i have lived through it. nothing like what you went through in louisiana. the floods of 1993 and down state illinois, i was in pretty decent shape when it was over for all the sandbags i filled, pushed around, with thousands of volunteers. and we saw what happens. there are terrible things that happen, and i think the senator from louisiana would agree with me that flooding is one of the worst. it just doesn't go away. it sits there, destroying your home and everything you love and own, and when it finally goes away, what a mess is left. we also in the midwest, we had a little thing called a tornado. i grew up as a kid in illinois, down state illinois, listening for the siren and heading for the basement. we did that i don't know how many times. sometimes in the middle of the night.
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but look what happened to joplin, missouri. this beautiful town in missouri almost wiped off the map by a tornado. so what do you tell the people who survive the next day? sorry, congress has to meet and debate. we'll get back to you. of course not. we stand up and help people. scores of volunteers, hundreds of volunteers who come from the red cross and so many other agencies and all of the first responders. government don't say we'll see if the federal government helps pay for this before we get in and provide life-saving efforts. they do it. anticipating that we'll stand with them. now congressman cantor of virginia decides that there should be a new approach. we need congress to get together and debate before we help people who are victims of disasters. that's a serious mistake. we've got to stand by people whether they live in red states or blue states, whether they are democrats, republicans, independents. we stand by one another, and that is critically important. let me say to the senator from louisiana, i think the thing
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that i noticed over the weekend back in illinois as i traveled around was how fed up people are with what's going on here in washington on capitol hill. when they see us break down into another cussing match over shutting down the government, they say for goodness sakes, grow up. grow up and accept your responsibility. we're here today accepting a grown-up responsibility. the house of representatives is not here today. i hope they're going to send a message to us that they found a solution, or if not, i hope they are planning on returning this week because we have work to do. on saturday, the spending for the government ends, and once again, we face a shutdown, a shutdown which would cause unnecessary hardship to innocent people all across america. if you think you have heard this script before or watched this movie before, you have. this is the third time this year that the house leadership has pushed a shutdown in front of us and said that's it, take it or
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leave it. that is no way to run a congress and it's no way to run a great nation. we need to come together and agree. i'll tell you what senator reid, the leader on the democratic side, did to try to reach an agreement. we had original asked for $7 billion for next year, additional money for fema. i'll bet we need it. but senator reid said in an effort to compromise, i will cut that request in half, we can get back together if we need it. there was an effort and consensus and compromise. it was totally rejected by the house. that's not a good way to act. i also want to add what the senator from new york, senator schumer, said earlier. this idea that the only way to pay for disasters is to eliminate jobs in america, how wrong is that? to go from a natural disaster to making our economic disaster worse? but that's what the house wanted to do. they wanted to eliminate jobs that are created by programs that have worked. let me give you an example. this intelligent vehicle,
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fuel-efficient vehicle program has put money in the major automobile manufacturers to create more manufacturing jobs in illinois, in illinois where we have had more jobs, good-paying american jobs that can't be shipped overseas for workers with a good salary and good benefits. now, what's wrong with that picture? isn't that what we're hoping for the rest of america as well? all across the midwest, these car manufacturers have used this program, and more than 40,000 jobs have been created, and the house republicans have said let's eliminate that and pay for disasters with it. totally upside-down thinking. we've got to be thinking about helping those in distress and we have got to be thinking about creating jobs, and we can do both. i take no back seat when it comes to tackling the debt and deficit of this country. i have been engaged in this debate for quite a while now and intensely over the last year and a half, but every economist and every clear-thinking person has
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said before you start the serious deficit reduction, take care of your immediate needs. that would be the defense of america and responding to disaster, and make certain this recession is behind you. you cannot balance the budget with 14 million americans out of work. so get busy in creating jobs, and we're going to. the president has come up with a proposal which i think makes sense. giving a payroll tax cut to working families. in my state of illinois where the average family makes about $53,000 a year, president obama's payroll tax cut would mean an additional $1,500 a year for them. that's going to be about $2,500 a month in their paychecks. i bet they can use it as they watch the price of gasoline go up and go back down again. they can use it. they have also said let's give small businesses a tax credit and a tax incentive to hire the unemployed. i know, we all know creating jobs in america has to start
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with small business. the senator from louisiana heads up that committee. she knows it. she has been the most aggressive spokesperson for that cause of any in the united states senate. and the same thing is true about where we spend our money. we should be investing in america. i visited a school today in the suburbs of chicago in martin grove, illinois, the gulf middle school, and they took me on a tour of the 60-year-old school. it's hard to imagine how they keep it going. they took me down to the boiler room. i don't think many senators spent too much time in boiler rooms in schools today but i did, looking at a 60-year-old boiler, and the fellow jim burke who keeps it running says it cost us $180,000 last year to keep this running. we need a new h-vac system for the hundreds of kids that go to this school. that's an example of buying things in america, installing them in america, investing in america so kids can be educated and succeed in america. that's a plan we all should endorse in both political
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parties. in just a few minutes, we're going to have a vote on the floor of the united states senate and i hope we can vote in a bipartisan fashion in a clear voice to say we're going to stand behind the victims of disasters across america, the american family can come together, and we're not going to cut jobs in order to reduce the pain that people feel in disasters. we can do both. create american jobs and make certain that those who are struggling through these disasters have the help they need. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. ms. landrieu: i thank the senator from illinois, and i continue to be amazed at his energy in terms of leadership and what he does here in washington and his home state of illinois, and i really appreciate the comments that he's made to bring to this debate. i want to say again that the vote that we're going to have in a few minutes is going to decide whether we're going to change the way that we help disaster victims. we're either going to do it the
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way we have pretty much always done it when a disaster strikes, the federal government steps up, we're there, we encourage our governors and our mayors and our local elected officials to roll up their sleeves, work side by side with people and get -- and take care of business, basically, get people out of harm's way, move them into shelters, comfort them, console them, keep families together, and then work with them in weeks and months and sometimes, mr. president, it takes years to get these communities back up and operating. or we're going to adopt the republican sort of tea party cantor doctrine, which is my way or the highway, which is why we're having this debate a week before the end of the fiscal year, which says that we're going to have to find money with each new catastrophe, we're going to have to find money from stripping money from either education or transportation or
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in this particular case, stripping money from a program that creates private sector jobs, a public-private partnership, a lending program that helps new and emerging companies get the financial wherewithal to manufacture new automobiles in america that put americans to work. in fact, what is amazing about this offset that the republicans have chosen to have this whole debate about is it is an offset, a program that is supported by republicans themselves. in fact, many republicans here in the senate and in the house have actually sent letters -- and i'm going to read one or two of those right now -- sent letters to the secretary of energy asking for funding out of this exact program for creating jobs in their state, which is a
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legitimate thing to do. it's done all the time. there is nothing wrong with that. what's wrong is then turning around and coming to washington and voting to gut this program under the guise that you need to do so to help disaster victims. i'm going to read a letter written by the members of the indiana delegation, at least three republicans have signed this letter. senator lugar from indiana, representative dan burton from indiana and representative mike pence from indiana. they wrote on june 25, "we write today to highlight the remarkable automotive innovation occurring in indiana and the tremendous potential for hooshors lead our national effort in transforming the automotive sector. indiana is uniquely qualified and prepared to lead the nation and the world in the development and commercialization of
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advanced patry, electric-drive vehicles and other innovative transportation technologies. hoosiers are committed to reaching our national goal of reducing our dependence on foreign oil and they are actively-reaching, developing manufacturing technologies that will be clean are and create lasting jobs. the hoosier state is the most manufacturing-intensive state in the union. it's now home to some 700 automotive-related companies which employ more than 130,000 workers. moreover, indiana's broad diversity of domestic and international companies, its long experience manufacturing light duty, heavy duty, recreational and military vehicles and its legacy pioneering electric power trains makes the state a national hub for automotive technology development. they go on and on. they say indiana already is home to a number of established and emerging battery and electric vehicle technology companies. in addition, indiana's
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world-class research universities including purdue, indiana university, purdue university, indianapolis and the university of notre dame have formed and active research and development partnership. the letter goes on and on to say what a great job they're doing. we strongly encourage you to give full consideration to the innovative applications for federal investments made by indiana companies through the electric drive vehicle battery component manufacturing initiative, and the 25 billion advanced technology vehicle loan program. that is the exact loan program that republicans from indiana have written to ask funding for that they're now eliminating to pay for disasters. if this were a program that wasn't working, if this was a program that didn't create jobs in america, if this was a program that republicans
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privately and publicly acknowledge was not a good program, that's one thing. but to run home and cut ribbons to say you're creating jobs in indiana or in new york or in illinois and then run up here and cut the program claiming you have to do so to help disaster victims when it is just about unprecedented in the history of our country, there is something terribly wrong with this. we don't need to be destroying jobs, mr. president. we need to be creating them. we don't need to be making excuses about how we don't have to help victims of disasters, we need to be helping them. and i guess i take this a little bit personally because while the rest of the members sort of say things like well, fema is not really running out of money, they can probably make it until friday and, you know, there is some talk about that going on,
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and, you know, there is some technical ways that that could be done. i want to remind everyone here this is already an emergency for these over 400 projects that were shut down weeks ago. if you were a small business owner that had a subcontract building a road in alaska, mr. president, it's an emergency for you because you were shut down and you can't make payroll. you've already probably bought the supplies to build the bridge and nobody is -- on the republican side is caring about your crisis. so fema is technically out of money as we speak. the only way they're continuing to operate is because they've shut down these projects. this is the third time in the last six years to my knowledge that projects have been shut down across the country. why is that right? many of those projects are in louisiana. some of them are in mississippi
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and some of them now are in joplin because if you were a disaster that happened a few years ago, because the republicans either won't budget the money, won't budget enough money or every time you go to ask for a dime they require an offset somewhere else, so truly what's happening is disaster victims in other parts of the country are subsidizing this foolishness. and this does not fall equally on the backs of democrats and republicans. i know people are tired of hearing it, but it doesn't. harry reid didn't start this fight. mary land drew didn't start this -- landrieu didn't start this fight. dick durbin didn't start this fight. eric cantor, a republican from virginia, started this fight when he said we cannot fund the 2011 disasters without an offset. so in this whole debate what they've done is shut down projects in louisiana, and mississippi to -- despite the fact i've said we don't really need an offset, we've already
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made arrangements in next year's budget, it's unprecedented, representative cantor, your state is going to be hurt as well. he doesn't seem to care. but i do care. and i do think it's worth talking about. i don't know if we will win this battle today. i don't know if we will win this vote this afternoon. i'm not the whip. i don't count the votes. all i do is keep my eyes on the people that are in disasters because i've had to for the years that i've been, unfortunately, the senator from louisiana that's been through the worst natural disaster our country has ever known and i've walked to too many destroyed neighbors, watched what people go through. so for me this is not a simple change. this is a major change that we cannot afford in this country and our people don't deserve. we cannot have a budget meeting every time there's a disaster in america. and try to run up here and in 30
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minutes or two days or a week decide what program we're going to slash that everybody can agree to so we can send help whether it's to west virginia or to florida or to michigan or louisiana. that's no way to run a government. now, tea party people and republicans want to bring change to washington. i welcome some of that change. but not this. this is not a change we need. this is not a good policy for america. i am not opposed to change. i am adaptable, i'm a centrist, i'm a moderate, i can listen to what republicans want to say and democrats, and i'm proud of that. it's a strength, i considerate strength, not a weakness. this is not a change that i can support lightly, and that's what this fight is about. we may be forced to change, but if we are, if we are, i want the people of america to know this was eric cantor's idea. this is on the tea party agenda.
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i don't think it should be on america's agenda. i see the governor, the senator from west virginia. the presiding officer: the senator from west virginia. mr. margin: mr. president, i think we all appreciate our colleague from louisiana's passion and compassion for the people of america, not just the people of louisiana but all over america. i thank her and thank her for taking this fight and making sure people understand what we're fighting for. being one of the other centrists in the body and i think we have a jiert now, three of us here, so i appreciate very much all of us being in attendance, i rise today to address the enormous frustration the american people must feel at witnessing their government and their leaders mainly in nothing in another futile political exercise. incredibly our government is being driven and i agree with
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senator -- the senator from louisiana that we're not going to shut down over this but it's unbelievable to get into the fuss we're in right now to make people believe that we could come to another brink of that when we just went through this bloody mess in august. there is not a state in this great nation that hasn't suffered the tragedy and cost of a natural disaster. while there are many government programs and issues that we should vigorously debate, we surely cannot question the responsibility of government to help our communities in their darkest moments. mr. president, in the america that i believe in, we don't look the other way when a community is suffering from the pain of a natural disaster. we stand up and offer a helping hand. it is this spirit of helping each other that has defined this nation since its very beginning, and we cannot let politics destroy that spirit. our belief in helping each other is the bedrock value for this country and it runs much deeper than a belief in a political party.
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we are americans, and for the sake of this great nation, i know that we all love, these petty squabbles that defines this place must end. that is why we must fund fema disaster relief and why i voted for a senate bill that would fund fema through the end of the fiscal year. yes, we all agree that funding for dreef should be paid for and in these most difficult times and especially now that we're looking at these deficits that we have accrued, yes, we must save and set aside that money. my grandfather once told me, mr. president, and i think you can appreciate this being a small business person, you can't give someone the shirt off your back if you don't have a shirt to give them. and we have to plan and work hard to make sure that we can put ourselves in position to help others. yes, we must return to the past of fiscal responsibility, where we manage our budgeted wisely and put away enough money for the eventually disasters we know will strike. in my great state of west
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virginia, we call it a contingency fund. we know we'll have floods and will have challenges throughout our state and we set aside every budget year x amount of dollars and we accumulate that to use foirt a crisis. we could do the same right here in this great country of ours and this nation's capital. but it is wrong and it is no if's, and's, and but's about it to pay for disaster relief out of funds that are creating jobs. with the potential of creating even more jobs. are there problems with some of the programs? absolutely. can we fix those programs? absolutely. should we eliminate programs that cost too much? and offer little return? absolutely. but are we so desperate to score political points that we eliminate a program, the advanced technology vehicles manufacturing program, which has actually helped bring jobs back to america? for the record, that program is credited with saving or creating
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39,000 american jobs, most with the ford motor company, an american manufacturer. something we need more of in this country. it is a program with support from both both the chamber of commerce and the national association of manufacturers. in fact, ford actually moved a hybrid battery facility from mexico to michigan because of this loan program. now, i can think of a lot of programs that we should fight over, but are we really going to defund that a program that has helped bring jobs back to america? i don't think so. where do we go from here? to my plurn and democratic leaders, i ask them to consider how simple a choice we face. we can rebuild america or we can afford -- to pay for it. we can choose to fund fema or afford to pay for it. we can do all of this if we face the fact that we cannot continue to go into debt and spend
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billions in afghanistan while suggesting that in order to fund fema we must cut a program that actually helped create jobs in america. mr. president, as i've said before we must choose between rebuilding afghanistan or rebuilding america and today we can make that choice. i along with many of you choose to rebuild america. at the time when our economy is struggling and our deficits are sploat exploding i cannot believe we in washington would choose to rebuild another nation at the expense of our own. we can do better than this and for the sake of our nation's future we must do better than this. we should not engage in the political theater that makes the false choice between funding disaster relief or eliminating a jobs program that actually helped create american jobs. mr. president, it's time for to us set our priorities. it's time for us to rebuild america. not to rebuild afghanistan or iraq. and helping america to rebuild during times of natural disaster must be a priority that cannot be defined by partisanship. in west virginia alone several
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projects worth nearly half a million dollars have now been put on hold because of the bickering and squabbling that goes on. those projects including funding to help individuals whose property was damaged this the severe snowstorm in 2009, flooding in 2010 as well as critical equipment that monitors water flow in areas prone to flooding, equipment that is vital for forecasting river levels during our floods. this doesn't make any sense to me, mr. president. and i know it doesn't make any sense to the people of west virginia. i cannot believe that any american would choose to lose billions more in waste and corruption in afghanistan while we ignore the needs of our neighbors here at home. our neighbors who just this year survived tornadoes, floods, and hurricanes. and who need shelter and food. mr. president, to the end i would like to offer the following amendment to offset the cost of funding fema by eliminating $1.6 billion from programs that will fund nation building in afghanistan and
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instead direct that money to fema to programs that rebuild america. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. mr. leahy: mr. president, is there time remaining? the presiding officer: there is no time remaining on the democratic side. lay lalled ask unanimous consent for 30 seconds. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: the senator west virginia is absolutely right. we have tens of billions of dollars sitting in accounts now unspent for iraq and afghanistan for rebuilding roads and all of theirs. let's spend it on america. it is american tax dollars. let's spend it in america. i yield the floor. mr. reid: before we do that, i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. reid:. the presiding officer: the yoarl. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be terminated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent if cloture is not invoked -- thank you, mr. president. i ask unanimous consent if cloture is not invoked on the pending reid of nevada motion to concur with an amendment the majority leader be recognized to withdraw the pending motion to refer and the pending motion to concur with an amendment, the majority leader be recognized to offer a new moment to offer an amendment the text of which is at the desk numbered 66 , no amendments or points of order or motions in order to the reid motion to concur other than the
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budget points of order and applicable motions to waive, up to 10 minutes of debate equally divided and controlled by the leaders or their designees. further, that the reid motion be subject to a 60 vote affirmative threshold. if the reid motion is agreed to, the senate proceed to consideration of h.r. 3027, and the only amendment in order to the bill and the amendment agreed to, the senate proceed to vote on passage of the bill as amended. all with no intervening action or debate. if the reid motion is not agreed to, the majority leader would be recognized. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the motion to invoke
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cloture. the clerk: we the undersigned senators hereby move to bring to a close the debate on the reid motion to concur in the house amendment to the senate amendment number h.r. 2608 with an amendment numbered 656. signed by 17 senators. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is is it the sense of the senate that debate on the motion to concur to the house amendment to the senate amendment to h.r. 2608 with amendment number 656 offered by the senator from nevada, mr. reid, shall be brought to a close? the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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vote: vote:
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vote:
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the presiding officer: on this vote the yeas are 54. the nays are 356789 three-fifths of the senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted in the affirmative, the motion is not agreed to. the majority leader. mr. reid: under the previous order i withdraw my pending motion and motion to concur with
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an amendment. the presiding officer: under the previous motion -- the order is resolved. mr. reid: withdrawn; is that right? i move to concur in the house amendment with an amendment. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from nevada mr. reid moves to concur on the house amendment with an amendment to h.r. 2608 with an amendment. mr. reid: under the previous order, there will be two minutes of debate equally divided between the two leaders. the presiding officer: the senator is correct. mr. mcconnell: can we have order? the presiding officer: please. mr. reid: i know everyone is really in a hurry and i will be as fast as i can. the presiding officer: please let's have order. mr. reid: the night can best be summed up by johnny isakson, the senator from georgia, who
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said it's only worth fighting when there's something to fight for. we've basically resolved this issue, mr. president. i want to recognize -- excuse me. i want to recognize the leadership, senator landrieu. she chairs the homeland security subcommittee on appropriations. she's our expert on disasters. she's done a wonderful job in maintaining this in the eyes of the public. friday morning's vote we established beyond a shadow of the house that the senate can't pass the house-passed c.r. it got 36 votes. with today's vote senate republicans are showing they'll back up the house vote on the question of offsetting spending in 2001. that's the vote we just took. today's news also points a away of understanding and a way out. today's news story says fema disaster aid has enough money to last through this fiscal year. this afternoon i received word
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from jack lew of o.m.b. and fema that they'll be able to get through the week without additional funding. that means they can get through the fiscal year without more money. i think that it's very clear this is the right way to go. it shows us the way out. it means we no longer have to fight over 2011 funding. i repeat what i said, mr. president, at the very beginning, and that is the way out is to focus on 2012. if we no longer need 2011 funding, we can paos a bill that funds -- we can pass a bill that funds 2012. this compromise should satisfy republicans. it includes their 2012 fema funding number. it should satisfy the democrats because it does not include the offsets we talked about so much here. it will be a win for everyone because we couldn't win without another -- end without another government crisis. i appreciate senator mcconnell for being understanding in this regard. but i end where i started:
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senator johnny isakson. let's fight when there is something to fight about. there is nothing to fight about tonight. mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: i'm going to walk us through where we've been and where we are. after tonight's vote, i think the quickest and surest way to get fema disaster funds it tphaoepd and end -- needs and end talk of government shutdown would have been to take up the house-passed c.r. right away. as we know, our friends on the other side will not agree to that. earlier today, as we all know, fema indicated it already has the funds it needs for the duration of the current c.r., which is basically this week, without the billions more in funding that democrats have been calling for. quite frankly, i think this is a vindication of what republicans have been saying all along. before we spend the taxpayers' money, we should have a real accounting, a real accounting of
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what is actually needed. we also believe that in these days of huge deficits, we need to prioritize our spending around here. that said, with this next vote, i think the majority leader has found a path forward, one that will continue to fund the government and which gives fema the funds it needs without any added emergency spending for the rest of this current fiscal year. in other words, this week. emergency funds, fema now says it doesn't need. so tonight we will have had, after the next vote, two votes; one to reject deficit financed disaster spending without necessary spending cuts elsewhere, and one to keep the government operational and to provide responsible disaster funding into november. the c.r., should it pass, will be within the top line we agreed to last summer. we've already basically voted on this top line. it will provide fema $2.65
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billion in funding next fiscal year to continue the recovery efforts. it will not contain any emergency spending for this current fiscal year, the rest of this week, so it will drop both the emergency spending and the provisions paying for that spending from the house-passed bill. again, my preferred path forward would have been to pass the house bill. but since our friends on the other side have reject that had approach, i believe this is a compromise that is a reasonable way to keep the government operational. so now that we have demonstrate that had there aren't enough votes to support more un-offset spending, i'm going to vote and would urge my colleagues to vote in favor of the clean c.r. which is the next vote we're going to have. in my view, this entire fire drill is completely and totally unnecessary, but i'm glad a resolution appears to be at hand. i yield the floor. mr. reid: this, mr. president --
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the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: this tonight is a johnny isakson solution. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion to concur with the amendment 665 offered by the senator from nevada, mr. reid. the yeas and nays -- there a second? sufficient second. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: on this vote the yeas are 79, the nays are 12. under the previous order requiring 60 votes for the adoption of this amendment, motion to concur with an amendment the amendment is agreed to. the motion is agreed to. under the previous order, the senate will proceed to the consideration of h.r. 2017, which the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 156, h.r. 2017, an act making appropriations for the department of homeland security for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2012 and for other purposes. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent to withdraw the substitute. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: and call up amendment number 666. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from
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nevada, mr. reid, proposes an amendment numbered 666. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the amendment is agreed to and the clerk will read the title of the bill for the third time. the clerk: calendar number 156, h.r. 2017, an act making appropriations for the department of homeland security for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2012 and for other purposes. the presiding officer: is there further debate? if not, the question is on the passage of the bill as amended. all those in favor please say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair the ayes appear to have it, do have it. the bill as amended is passed.
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mr. reid: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that amendment to the title which is at the desk be agreed to. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. mr. reid: mr. president, i ask we proceed to a period of morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: with senators allowed to speak for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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